Thursday, 24 May 2012
Etiquette of the Path
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from Shaykh al-Hafizh as-Sayyid ‘Abd al-Fadl ‘Abdullah ibn as Swiddiq al-Ghumari’s (r.a.) The Pure Pearls in the Etiquette of the Thariqa’.
Etiquette of the Murid with Allah (s.w.t.)
The murid’s acts and words must be within the boundaries of shari'ah, and never cross them. The murid should remain steadfast on the sunnah and perform supererogatory acts of worship, in order to attain Allah's (s.w.t.) Pleasure and Love.
In an authentic hadits qudsi, , Allah (s.w.t.) Says, "Nothing brings My worshipper closer to me than what I Command him to do, and My worshipper will keep coming closer to me by doing extra worship until I love him. If I Love him, I Become his hearing that he hears with, his sight that he sees with, his hands that he uses, and his legs that he walks with."
The latter part of the hadits is a literal translation that is inapplicable to Allah (s.w.t.) in the literal sense. It means no limb, organ, move, or even thought of that person can be generated except for the pleasure of Allah (s.w.t.), a step marking the heights of perfection and purification of the soul. The hadits qudsi continues: "And if he asks me I would Give him, if he seeks refuge I will Grant him".
The murid should be pleased with what Allah (s.w.t.) Decrees. The Beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) told ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.), "Know that what missed you was not supposed to happen to you and what happened to you was not suppose to miss you."
Hence, if the murid realises this and adheres to it, it would undoubtedly comfort his heart and make him please with whatever the Creator Decreed. The murid should submit his needs to Allah (s.w.t.) in everything. Allah (s.w.t.) Says:
… but ask Allah of His Bounty... (Surah an-Nisa’:32)
The Beloved Prophet Muhammad, (s.a.w.) said, "If you ask, then ask Allah". In another hadits, he said, "One should ask his Lord all his needs even for the laces of his shoes if it was cut.”
Once, a man from the pious predecessors had a severe financial crisis to the extent that he intended to ask some of his close brothers to help him. That night he heard in his dream someone asking him, "Is it appropriate for the murid if he knows that Allah (s.w.t.) has all he needs, to direct his heart to the slaves of Allah (s.w.t.)?" The man woke up with his heart entirely detached from all Creation.
Etiquette of the Murid with Rasulullah (s.a.w.)
The murid should be observing the highest of politeness with the Beloved Prophet, Muhammad (s.a.w.) nourishing his manners and morals from the sunnah, prioritising it over everything, glorifying Ahl al-Bayt and the Companions. This needs no proof, as Allah (s.w.t.) Mentioned in the Qur’an the obligation of glorifying His Prophet (s.a.w.), observing the highest of manners and politeness with him and realizing that obeying him is obeying Allah (s.w.t.). The one who rejects or deviates from him is promised afflictions and severe punishment.
Etiquette of the Murid with his Shaykh
The murid should exalt and observe full manners with his shaykh. The murid should not rush to talk or act in the presence of his shaykh without permission. The murid should defend his shaykh in his absence, should not attend an event that disrespects his shaykh, and he should take his permission before doing things in his presence. The murid should not oppose the shaykh’s directives and other things which are mentioned in its proper place.
These ethics were deduced by Sufi scholars from the Qur’an with, from knowing the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). The scholars are the inheritors of prophets. Hence, they inherit the respect and ethics as well. Therefore, it is imperative that the murid searches for a Qualified shaykh before he requests to join any thariqa’, a shaykh that is a true inheritor of the Prophet (s.a.w.). A sign of that is the comprehensive and profound knowledge of the shari'ah, in-depth and encompassing knowledge of the Qur’an and sunnah. There is no guidance and no thariqa’ except with the shari'ah, and that which is consistent with its teachings. He, who is not an authority in the sacred knowledge, and is not then beautified by devoutness, is not fit for teaching and guidance, as one cannot teach something one does not know.
Etiquette of the Murid with fellow Muridun
The murid should respect his fellow muridun, and not see himself superior to them. The murid should comfort those in need, visit the ill, teach the unlearned, and work with all to fulfill the duties of the thariqa’. The murid should forgive those who disrespect or transgress him, find them excuses for what they did, and always give them the benefit of the doubt.
The murid should serve his fellow murid himself, approach them with a loving smile and hand shake. The murid should kindly advise others who make mistakes without disrespecting or degrading them. The murid must respect all muqaddam, appointed by the shaykh, listen to him, abide by his advice, and consider him as a representative of the shaykh while present. The Muqaddam must be concerned with the murid, their issues, and lead them to advance their knowledge and practise all the time. The Muqaddam must inquire and follow up on those who fall short, be kind to them and treat all equally.
Etiquette of the Murid with Others
The murid must be honest and humble with others, without abusing or fearing them. The murid should look after the well being of others, and should wish for them what he would wish for himself, as per the hadits of the Beloved Prophet (s.a.w.), where he said, "One will not be a complete believer until he loves for his fellow brother what he loves for himself".
In conclusion, if the murid adheres to the etiquette and practises them, he would then attain true faith, and would get from Allah (s.w.t.) all his needs.